2011-01-20

Environmental Coalition Calls On Presidents Obama And Hu To Declare Global Climate Emergency


OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA & PRESIDENT HU JINTAO
January 19, 2011

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20003

Dear President Barack Obama & President Hu Jintao:

It is time to publicly acknowledge that the continued burning of
fossil fuels threatens the survival of civilization. The science is
incontrovertible on this fact, yet the response from government is
business as usual. Our two nations dominate world carbon emissions.

No civilization has survived the ongoing destruction of its natural
support systems, nor will ours. It is with a deepening sense of dread
over the fate of future generations that we call on you to acknowledge
the severity of the global climate emergency by placing climate
stabilization at the top of your policy agendas.

According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and NOAA's
National Climatic Data Center, 2010 tied with 2005 as the hottest
year in recorded history. Last year was also the wettest on record in
terms of global average precipitation, according to the Global
Historical Climatology Network, with devastating impacts felt across
the globe. Estimates by the World Health Organization are that the
Earth's warming climate contributes to more than 150,000 deaths each
year. Here's what else we're facing:
• Crop-withering heat waves

• A melting Greenland ice sheet that threatens to raise sea level
23 feet

• Fires transforming carbon-storing tropical rainforests into
carbon emitters

• Ocean acidification imperiling the base of the seafood chain

• Melting glaciers in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau
threatening the dry season irrigation water supplies - and food
security - of hundreds of millions of people

• Ever-deadlier storms creating growing numbers of climate
refugees

• Scientists predicting 1/5 of living species being driven toward
extinction by mid-century

This is just the beginning. Nature tells us time is running out, but
we can't see the clock. As we blindly reach critical climate "tipping
points," things promise to get worse, much worse. Central to the
solution is a wartime-like mobilization by the governments of the
United States and China to cut carbon emissions 80 percent (based on
2006 levels) by 2020. This is required if we are to reduce carbon
emissions to 350 parts per million in the atmosphere, the level top
climate scientists say is safe for humanity.

There is no more important measure of presidential leadership than
living up to the expectations of our children to protect their
future. Every day our respective governments fail to act, their
future grows more perilous. We await your response.

Sincerely,

Lester Brown, President, Earth Policy Institute

Rev. Sally G. Bingham, President, The Regeneration Project &
Interfaith Power & Light

Brent Blackwelder, President Emeritus, Friends of the Earth

David Blittersdorf, President/CEO, AllEarth Renewables, Inc.

Jan Blittersdorf, President/CEO, NRG Systems, Inc.

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club

Lisa Daniels, Executive Director, Windustry

Brock Evans, President, Endangered Species Coalition

Ross Gelbspan, Author

Paul Hawken, Author

Randy Hayes, Executive Director, Foundation Earth & Founder,
Rainforest Action Network

Courtney Hight, Co-Director, Energy Action Coalition

Julia Butterfly Hill, Co-Founder, The Engage Network*

Chuck Kutscher, Former Chair, American Solar Energy Society &
Principal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory*

Eric Lombardi, Executive Director, Eco-Cycle

Bill McKibben, Founder, 350.org

Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth

Phil Radford, Executive Director, Greenpeace

Kieran Suckling, Executive Director, Center for Biological Diversity

Rebecca Tarbotton, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network

Mike Tidwell, Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network

James A. Walker, Former President, American Wind Energy Association

Tom Weis, President, Climate Crisis Solutions

*Institutional affiliation listed for identification purposes only

Tom Weis, President

Climate Crisis Solutions

2548 6th Street

Boulder, CO 80304

(303) 378-1364 (mobile)

www.rideforrenewables.com


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